ithell colquhoun magician born of nature
© All texts copyright Richard Shillitoe 2015-16  All artworks copyright the estate of the artist.

artistic development:

commercial work There is a small body of work which must have been commissioned, and for which she was probably paid, although there is no supporting correspondence. It consists of some book jackets and two magazine covers. MAGAZINE COVERS The earliest is an oil painting for the front cover of the June 1946 issue of Ideal Home magazine. It shows a modern house with a large well- ordered garden. This is The Homewood, the modernist house in Esher, Surrey, which was the subject of an illustrated article on pages 22-25. The second is a drawing for the cover of Eidos magazine. Eidos was ‘a journal of painting, sculpture and design’ that survived for only three issues, all appearing in 1950. Colquhoun’s design was based on the φ spiral, chosen to represent the eternally recurrent rhythm of life itself: ‘being numerically related to the Fibonacci series which is fundamental in nature and unwinding in the proportions of the Golden Section which is fundamental in art’. BOOK JACKETS In 1955-56 Colquhoun designed four book jackets for the publisher Peter Owen. The books were: Pauline: The House of Barnery vol 2 by Jacques Chardonne (1955); Reminiscences of an Epicure by Francis Cunynghame (1955); The Clothes of God: a Treatise on Neo-analytic Psychology by Alice Buck and Claude Palmer (1956) and Writings of Edith Stein edited and translated by Hilda Graef (1956). Pauline is not listed in the British Library catalogue and is a scarce item in the second-hand book trade. The others are easier to find. Colquhoun also designed the jackets for her own books that were published by Peter Owen: The Crying of the Wind (1955); The Living Stones (1957) and the first edition of Goose of Hermogenes (1961).  The jacket design for The Sword of Wisdom is not by Colquhoun, neither is the cover design for the 2003 reissue of Goose of Hermogenes.
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